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May Weather in Santa Monica California, United States

Daily high temperatures are around 69°F, rarely falling below 63°F or exceeding 78°F.

Daily low temperatures increase by 3°F, from 56°F to 59°F, rarely falling below 52°F or exceeding 63°F.

For reference, on August 25, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Santa Monica typically range from 65°F to 76°F, while on December 24, the coldest day of the year, they range from 49°F to 65°F.

Average High and Low Temperature in May in Santa Monica

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on May. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature in May in Santa Monica

Average Hourly Temperature in May in Santa MonicaMay112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM12 AM2 AM2 AM4 AM4 AM6 AM6 AM8 AM8 AM10 AM10 AM12 PM12 PM2 PM2 PM4 PM4 PM6 PM6 PM8 PM8 PM10 PM10 PM12 AM12 AMAprJunNowNowcoldcoolcoolcomfortable
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa (10,259 miles away) is the far-away foreign place with temperatures most similar to Santa Monica (view comparison).

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The month of May in Santa Monica experiences gradually decreasing cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy decreasing from 24% to 18%.

The clearest day of the month is May 31, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 82% of the time.

For reference, on February 22, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 43%, while on September 6, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 91%.

Cloud Cover Categories in May in Santa Monica

Cloud Cover Categories in May in Santa MonicaMay11223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%AprJunMay 176%May 176%May 3182%May 3182%May 1177%May 1177%May 2179%May 2179%NowNowclearmostly clearpartly cloudyovercastmostly cloudy
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds.

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Santa Monica, the chance of a wet day over the course of May is gradually decreasing, starting the month at 5% and ending it at 1%.

For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 22% on February 20, and its lowest chance is 0% on July 23.

Probability of Precipitation in May in Santa Monica

Probability of Precipitation in May in Santa MonicaMay11223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%0%1%1%2%2%3%3%4%4%5%5%6%6%7%7%8%8%9%9%10%10%11%11%AprJunMay 15%May 15%May 311%May 311%May 113%May 113%May 212%May 212%NowNowrain
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the month and not just the monthly total, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.

The average sliding 31-day rainfall during May in Santa Monica is gradually decreasing, starting the month at 0.4 inches, when it rarely exceeds 1.5 inches or falls below -0.0 inches, and ending the month at 0.1 inches, when it rarely exceeds 0.4 inches or falls below -0.0 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall in May in Santa Monica

Average Monthly Rainfall in May in Santa MonicaMay11223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310.0 in0.0 in0.5 in0.5 in1.0 in1.0 in1.5 in1.5 in2.0 in2.0 in2.5 in2.5 in3.0 in3.0 in3.5 in3.5 inAprJunMay 10.4 inMay 10.4 inMay 310.1 inMay 310.1 inMay 110.3 inMay 110.3 inMay 210.2 inMay 210.2 in
The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average snowfall.

Over the course of May in Santa Monica, the length of the day is increasing. From the start to the end of the month, the length of the day increases by 42 minutes, implying an average daily increase of 1 minute, 24 seconds, and weekly increase of 9 minutes, 47 seconds.

The shortest day of the month is May 1, with 13 hours, 34 minutes of daylight and the longest day is May 31, with 14 hours, 16 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in May in Santa Monica

The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The latest sunrise of the month in Santa Monica is 6:04 AM on May 1 and the earliest sunrise is 20 minutes earlier at 5:43 AM on May 31.

The earliest sunset is 7:38 PM on May 1 and the latest sunset is 22 minutes later at 8:00 PM on May 31.

Daylight saving time is observed in Santa Monica during 2024, but it neither starts nor ends during May, so the entire month is in standard time.

For reference, on June 20, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 5:43 AM and sets 14 hours, 25 minutes later, at 8:08 PM, while on December 21, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 6:55 AM and sets 9 hours, 53 minutes later, at 4:49 PM.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in May in Santa Monica

The solar day over the course of May. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray.

The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.

Solar Elevation and Azimuth in May in Santa Monica

Solar Elevation and Azimuth in May in Santa MonicaMay112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM12 AM2 AM2 AM4 AM4 AM6 AM6 AM8 AM8 AM10 AM10 AM12 PM12 PM2 PM2 PM4 PM4 PM6 PM6 PM8 PM8 PM10 PM10 PM12 AM12 AMAprJun0010102020203030404050505060607000010102020303030404050506060607070NowNow
northeastsouthwest
Solar elevation and azimuth over the course of May 2024. The black lines are lines of constant solar elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon, in degrees). The background color fills indicate the azimuth (the compass bearing) of the sun. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries of the cardinal compass points indicate the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for May 2024. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases. The label associated with each bar indicates the date and time that the phase is obtained, and the companion time labels indicate the rise and set times of the Moon for the nearest time interval in which the moon is above the horizon.

Moon Rise, Set & Phases in May in Santa Monica

Moon Rise, Set & Phases in May in Santa MonicaMay112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM12 AM4 AM4 AM8 AM8 AM12 PM12 PM4 PM4 PM8 PM8 PM12 AM12 AMAprJunApr 811:22 AMApr 811:22 AMApr 234:50 PMApr 234:50 PMMay 78:23 PMMay 78:23 PMMay 236:54 AMMay 236:54 AMJun 65:38 AMJun 65:38 AMJun 216:09 PMJun 216:09 PM6:27 AM6:27 AM7:40 PM7:40 PM7:36 PM7:36 PM6:25 AM6:25 AM5:28 AM5:28 AM7:41 PM7:41 PM7:29 PM7:29 PM5:33 AM5:33 AM5:29 AM5:29 AM8:51 PM8:51 PM8:27 PM8:27 PM5:59 AM5:59 AMNowNow
The time in which the moon is above the horizon (light blue area), with new moons (dark gray lines) and full moons (blue lines) indicated. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.
May 2024IlluminationMoonriseMoonsetMoonriseMeridian PassingDistance
1
50%2:15 AMESE12:36 PMWSW-7:25 AMS231,871 mi
2
37%2:52 AMESE1:46 PMWSW-8:19 AMS229,573 mi
3
26%3:24 AMESE2:56 PMW-9:10 AMS227,639 mi
4
16%3:55 AME4:06 PMW-9:59 AMS226,273 mi
5
8%4:24 AME5:16 PMW-10:48 AMS225,674 mi
6
3%4:54 AMENE6:28 PMWNW-11:38 AMS225,988 mi
7
0%5:28 AMENE7:41 PMWNW-12:30 PMS227,276 mi
8
1%6:06 AMENE8:54 PMWNW-1:26 PMS229,487 mi
9
4%6:50 AMENE10:05 PMWNW-2:25 PMS232,451 mi
10
10%7:42 AMNE11:09 PMNW-3:24 PMS235,908 mi
11
18%8:40 AMNE--4:23 PMS239,545 mi
12
27%-12:04 AMNW9:42 AMENE5:18 PMS243,048 mi
13
36%-12:49 AMWNW10:44 AMENE6:09 PMS246,145 mi
14
46%-1:27 AMWNW11:46 AMENE6:55 PMS248,626 mi
15
50%-1:58 AMWNW12:45 PMENE7:38 PMS250,355 mi
16
65%-2:25 AMWNW1:42 PMENE8:18 PMS251,271 mi
17
74%-2:49 AMW2:38 PME8:57 PMS251,380 mi
18
82%-3:12 AMW3:33 PME9:35 PMS250,746 mi
19
89%-3:35 AMW4:29 PME10:15 PMS249,478 mi
20
95%-4:00 AMWSW5:26 PMESE10:57 PMS247,717 mi
21
98%-4:26 AMWSW6:27 PMESE11:42 PMS245,617 mi
22
99%-4:57 AMWSW7:29 PMESE--
23
100%-5:33 AMWSW8:34 PMESE12:31 AMS243,334 mi
24
99%-6:17 AMWSW9:37 PMSE1:25 AMS241,008 mi
25
96%-7:10 AMSW10:37 PMSE2:23 AMS238,750 mi
26
91%-8:11 AMSW11:30 PMESE3:24 AMS236,640 mi
27
84%-9:18 AMWSW-4:24 AMS234,722 mi
28
74%12:15 AMESE10:28 AMWSW-5:21 AMS233,016 mi
29
63%12:53 AMESE11:37 AMWSW-6:15 AMS231,535 mi
30
50%1:26 AMESE12:46 PMWSW-7:06 AMS230,305 mi
31
40%1:56 AME1:54 PMW-7:54 AMS229,378 mi

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

The chance that a given day will be muggy in Santa Monica is essentially constant during May, remaining around 0% throughout.

For reference, on August 4, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 9% of the time, while on November 14, the least muggy day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time.

Humidity Comfort Levels in May in Santa Monica

Humidity Comfort Levels in May in Santa MonicaMay11223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%0%10%10%20%20%30%30%40%40%50%50%60%60%70%70%80%80%90%90%100%100%AprJunMay 10%May 10%May 310%May 310%May 110%May 110%May 210%May 210%humidhumidcomfortablecomfortabledrydry
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point.

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Santa Monica is gradually decreasing during May, decreasing from 7.2 miles per hour to 6.4 miles per hour over the course of the month.

For reference, on December 30, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 9.2 miles per hour, while on August 12, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 5.3 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed in May in Santa Monica

The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The hourly average wind direction in Santa Monica throughout May is predominantly from the west, with a peak proportion of 50% on May 22.

Wind Direction in May in Santa Monica

Wind Direction in May in Santa MonicaMay11223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%AprJunNowNowwestsouthnortheast
northeastsouthwest
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions, excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1.0 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Santa Monica is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.

The average surface water temperature in Santa Monica is gradually increasing during May, rising by 2°F, from 60°F to 63°F, over the course of the month.

Average Water Temperature in May in Santa Monica

Average Water Temperature in May in Santa MonicaMay112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313156°F56°F58°F58°F60°F60°F62°F62°F64°F64°F66°F66°F68°F68°F70°F70°FAprJunMay 160°FMay 160°FMay 3163°FMay 3163°FMay 1161°FMay 1161°FMay 2162°FMay 2162°FNowNow
The daily average water temperature (purple line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

Temperatures in Santa Monica are sufficiently warm year round that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss the growing season in these terms. We nevertheless include the chart below as an illustration of the distribution of temperatures experienced throughout the year.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in May in Santa Monica

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in May in Santa MonicaMay11223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%AprJun100%May 16100%May 16NowNowcoldcoolcomfortablewarm
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

The average accumulated growing degree days in Santa Monica are increasing during May, increasing by 393°F, from 1,069°F to 1,462°F, over the course of the month.

Growing Degree Days in May in Santa Monica

Growing Degree Days in May in Santa MonicaMay1122334455667788991010111112121313141415151616171718181919202021212222232324242525262627272828292930303131900°F900°F1,000°F1,000°F1,100°F1,100°F1,200°F1,200°F1,300°F1,300°F1,400°F1,400°F1,500°F1,500°F1,600°F1,600°F1,700°F1,700°FAprJunMay 11,069°FMay 11,069°FMay 311,462°FMay 311,462°FMay 111,195°FMay 111,195°FMay 211,327°FMay 211,327°FNowNow
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of May, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy in Santa Monica is gradually increasing during May, rising by 0.6 kWh, from 7.6 kWh to 8.2 kWh, over the course of the month.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in May in Santa Monica

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in May in Santa MonicaMay11223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310 kWh0 kWh1 kWh1 kWh2 kWh2 kWh3 kWh3 kWh4 kWh4 kWh5 kWh5 kWh6 kWh6 kWh7 kWh7 kWh8 kWh8 kWh9 kWh9 kWhAprJunMay 17.6 kWhMay 17.6 kWhMay 318.2 kWhMay 318.2 kWhMay 117.8 kWhMay 117.8 kWhMay 218.0 kWhMay 218.0 kWhNowNow
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Santa Monica are 34.019 deg latitude, -118.491 deg longitude, and 98 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Santa Monica contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 344 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 109 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (2,569 feet). Within 50 miles contains large variations in elevation (9,377 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Santa Monica is covered by artificial surfaces (79%) and water (16%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (43%) and water (34%), and within 50 miles by water (39%) and shrubs (29%).

This report illustrates the typical weather in Santa Monica, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Santa Monica.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Santa Monica according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Santa Monica is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Santa Monica and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are:

To get a sense of how much these sources agree with each other, you can view a comparison of Santa Monica and the stations that contribute to our estimates of its temperature history and climate. Please note that each source's contribution is adjusted for elevation and the relative change present in the MERRA-2 data.

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © OpenStreetMap contributors.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.

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